Finavon Castle Water Salmon and Sea Trout Fishing on the River South Esk in Scotland

Boat Pool

Boat pool is a hugely important holding pool at Finavon. That doesn't mean that it is easy to catch fish in this deep cavernous pool, however. In low water conditions, large numbers of fish can be observed shoaling up here, but there is not really enough cover or current to fish the pool very effectively in these conditions, and it becomes something of a sanctuary. During the low water and superb sea trout run of 2015, a shoal of sea trout numbering well over 250 was counted in Boat Pool!

The pool cannot be waded and in fishing terms is really a high-water pool, on a day when the river foams down big and coloured from the run created by Willows above, the pool can be extremely productive if fished correctly. The transition from the easily waded Willows to the un-wadeable Upper Boat pool is defined by when you are at the second triangle of boulders which jut out of the South bank below Willows. The biggest ever salmon caught at Finavon, a 36lber, was caught at about this point just before the Second World War.

Upper Boat pool is a holding pool in two sections. The top part is mostly deep holding water, and a great place for a spring salmon and where big shoals of sea trout lie up in the low water of June, July and August. A summer or autumn spate can give this pool a huge head of fish resulting in catches unsurpassed elsewhere in the middle river. We had 19 salmon and grilse here in one August day in 2008. In these conditions, the upper part of Boat pool is similar to Willows in that you will often be catching fish under your own toes in, but as the current peters out, you can expect an offer anywhere across the pool, as well as under your feet!